Agency Account

Betto, Summarised very well what we require. The crunch issue here we hope you are going to fix is the ability for “agency” not to have to manually update all content, for all clients. Specific access is required for particular widgets to specific clients, that’s really it in a nutshell. I mean how much really are you going to charge on top for an agency or a client to simply have the ability to update an already paid for upcoming events widget for example.

Here is an example question:

Agency has 20 clients paying on average £25 a month for their website hosting. 9 of which have a single elfsight widget running.

The agency has already paid for the Annual Pro Plan, My question is are Elfsight now looking to charge again for customer access to individual widgets?

P.S We have over 250+ clients but will look to build our own software if the costs of scaling with Elfsight don’t allow or make sense.

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Hello Dave!

Thank you for the very specific example and for your insightful question. Currently, we do not have a monetization system in place for new features, but we have some ideas that we would be happy to share and discuss, and we are open to hearing all the pros and cons.

As I mentioned, we plan to develop the Projects functionality:

  1. Add the ability to share projects with clients.
  2. Customize necessary access levels.
  3. Implement functionality to set View and Widget limits for each specific project.
  4. We are considering creating a monthly project report for agency clients on widget usage.
  5. Other features that will simplify and improve the interaction between the agency and the client.

For agencies that pay for the service themselves, we plan to charge a small fee for each client (project), say $2 per month. This fee would only apply to clients for whom a Project is created. There will always be the possibility to use the service as before without paying anything extra.

For agencies that work through the Affiliate Program and when the client pays for themselves, we expect this functionality to be available for free.

Accordingly, on one hand, we want to develop new features for agencies, improve their experience with our service and their interaction with their clients regarding our service, and on the other hand, recoup our investments through expanded monetization.

Let me reiterate that we are open to dialogue on this matter and are ready to listen, discuss, and consider any proposed ideas.

Thank you!

2 Likes

Thank you Andrei for the swift and detailed response. You have a great product/service and I understand the issues of balance alongside monetisation you face.

I should imagine a very high % of your customers are going to be “Agency” which scales the numbers significantly. I would raise, looking at what has been developed so far in terms of projects we could run into some issues. Some widgets are more complex than others, it would be very helpful if we can select which widgets a client can view/edit, rather than giving them access to everything we may have installed on their site (We don’t want them messing up some settings). After all the idea of this dev is simply to let them add/edit particular content to help us scale faster and save time our end. It’s with this issue in mind I assumed sharing access would have been designed by “widget” rather than by client/project".

All that being said, it’s quite possible you guys are working on this UX but just incase i thought i would mention the use case.

In terms of cost to us, your service prices at our current numbers are low cost, but at your current prices for next plan up it does not make sense for us to expand widgets to more of our users. Perhaps a plan per project or per widget would be better? I’ll go back and review your prices/plans shortly as its been a while. But last i checked we paid a few hundred for 10 x of each widget, and to get double that number per widget that price became almost monthly? Instead of having £xAmount for x number of widgets, many of which will not be used, perhaps that number could be transferrable across widgets? Just a thought.

Thanks Dave

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Thank you, Dave, for your feedback and the description of your use case!

I’ve created 4 topics in the Wishlist for specific features, please follow the link and vote for the functionality you truly need. This will help us better prioritize feature development. And don’t hesitate to add new requests yourself :wink:

Regarding Pricing, yes, we would like to gradually eliminate limits and move to a plan per project or widget for professional users, to make the service more convenient, and to ensure that cost increases are smooth as usage grows.

However, this will require us to create a new version of Billing, which in itself is quite a labor-intensive task. And we’ve decided to first provide functionality for agencies and web developers, and then to deal more thoroughly with monetization.

Thank you!

2 Likes

I completely agree with Dave.
The reason is simple: he thinks like an agency (and not a freelancer) should think.

If it is true that the majority of elfsight clients are agencies, I would like to give some advice (even if not requested): think as if you were the agency and don’t think just to try to do business with the agency.
If the product, service and pricing are simple, clear and convenient for agencies, they will increase in number (and therefore also in business).

For example, we have been using elfsight services since 2017 not because we are unable to develop the few types of elfsight widgets we use ourselves, but because the widgets are ready and we can dedicate our time to developing other things.

At one point, a limitation of 50,000 monthly views per widget appeared. It wasn’t foreseen but we understood it as it is understandable to place a traffic limit (maybe not by widget type).

But in recent months (on our current plan which did not include limitations) a limitation on the number of widgets that can be activated has appeared. This (which as an agency prevents us from working freely) is much less understandable from a cost point of view, it just seems like a way to earn more. But it is not correct to apply it to an existing subscription.

I understand well the development costs and everything behind it, but if I sell a subscription service at a price, then I don’t change it on the fly for my customer; not even if I realize I’ve done the calculations wrong. It remains my problem. All companies that sell SAAS services renew their price lists but maintain previous contracts under the old conditions.

Agencies want to work with companies like elfsight if they help them grow.

@Andrei I voted for the links you proposed but I would like to offer you my thoughts on the matter.

Provide a client with access to specific widgets within his project
This is what an agency needs.

Set view limits for a specific project
This could be useful for those agencies that resell the widget to traffic, but who does that? To do this (which is complex for the end customer) it would also be necessary to have official numbers to provide them.
Useful for “blocking” large sites, but then can we block a service that we have sold?
I think that for 1 customer who consumes a lot there are 99 who compensate.

Provide a client with access to a project with their widgets
The client must not have access to everything indiscriminately, but only to what he agrees with the agency.

Ability to transfer widget ownership to my client
If the client stays with the agency, he uses the services provided/offered by the agency.
If the customer leaves the agency, the services (according to the contract) are turned off and not transferred.

I hope (with my English) to have been constructive with this long comment and I hope not to be misinterpreted.

Thank you.

3 Likes

Hello @Andrei

Thank you very much for your responses.

First, let me explain that we have been working with Elfsight since 2019, and we have a contract until 2025.

AGENCY

In our case, what we would need is as follows:

  • White Label, this is the most important. Other websites (if you want, I can send you examples via private message) allow you to install your own domain, for example, www.company.com. You don’t need to access www.elfsight.com.

  • Give our client access to a widget (or several specific widgets), such as POPUP, so that they can activate, deactivate, or update them.

PRICING

Since we are discussing the matter, I would like to give our opinion.

When we started working with Elfsight, everything was unlimited, which made us set very competitive prices for our clients.

If we needed to put WhatsApp or a POPUP on a client’s website, we did not charge for it; we assumed that cost in our company.

Without prior notice, without informing us of anything, when we went to renew in 2023, we found that now everything is limited, and the price is much higher.

BEFORE:
600 euros per year › Unlimited widgets

NOW:
1,080€ per year › 50 widgets per app
1,440€ per year › 100 widgets per app
2,160€ per year › 200 widgets per app
2,880€ per year › 400 widgets per app

As you can see, it’s an incredible price hike.

As I mentioned to the support team, this creates a very large insecurity when working with Elfsight.

Firstly, because the price has doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.

Secondly, because you don’t know if the same thing will happen next year.

I believe that old customers (in our case, 5 years) should have continued to be charged the same with unlimited widgets, which is what we had contracted.

And as some colleagues rightly say, you have +80 widgets, but in the end, only 10 - 15 widgets are used; the rest have 0 widgets created.

Thank you very much for your time, I apologize for my English, and I hope you listen to your customers.

3 Likes

@Adri
You expressed the question precisely.

Our situation is identical.
Actually no, because our contract expires at the end of the year but the conditions have already changed a few months ago.

I have submitted the problem to support but I am still waiting for the response to resolve the problem.

I agree with you on the “domain” and “previous agreements” issue and I am sure that everything is clearer to the guys at elfsight now too.

We hope for a win-win solution for everyone.

1 Like

Hello everyone!

A big thank you to @Betto Betto and @Adri Adri for your posts, the information provided has been incredibly helpful. I’ll address each point in turn.

News
Firstly, I’d like to update you on our progress in developing features for agencies. The development of the function to add Team Members to your account is in its final stages - we’re just a little over a week away from completing everything. We then anticipate roughly a week for final testing and revisions before the release.

The feature that allows giving project access to clients is currently in the design phase. The design is expected to be fully ready by the time we release Team Members. While designing, a question arose - which widgets would you like to give client access to, and for what purposes? Those of you who are looking forward to this feature, please share your thoughts here: Provide a client with access to a project with their widgets.

Whitelabel
We have a general understanding of the Whitelabel functionality needed - essentially, your client should not notice anything associated with Elfsight. However, we’d like to gain a deeper insight into the agencies’ willingness to pay for this feature. Suppose there are no standard Whitelabel plans, and the fee is based on each invited client.

Could you kindly share your thoughts on how much you would be willing to pay per Whitelabel client, assuming, for instance, they get Unlimited Views, access to all applications, and up to 10 widgets for each application to meet the maximum needs of a typical requirement profile?

Your feedback on this matter is crucial for us to assess the development prospects. Please, share your thoughts here: Full Whitelabel plan to manage apps with custom brand (White Label).

I will address the changes to the Pricing that occurred last year in a separate message in my next post.

Wishing you all a great day!

Thank you!

3 Likes

A post was merged into an existing topic: Full Whitelabel Plan to manage apps with custom brand (white label)

Clarification on Pricing Model in 2023

I’d like to offer a detailed response regarding the clarification of widget limits in 2023, as this topic continues to come up.

We understand that pricing is a very pressing and critical issue for our users. We have always aimed and continue to aim to provide the most affordable prices for our widgets. In the 8 years our service has been in operation, we have never once raised the price of our plans, including Pack plans, even though the number of available applications has doubled or tripled. The only thing we have done during this time is to specify the number of widgets available on each plan.

Why do I say “specify”?
Because, previously, the number of available widgets was not discussed in our terms, neither in Pricing nor in the Terms of Use. There simply was no mention of widget availability at all. Yes, users could create widgets, and initially, the limit was not visually displayed in the interface. However, it existed and was quite high - very few users encountered it.

Why did we need to specify the limits?
Over 8 years, much has changed, particularly the process of obtaining information from third-party services (social networks, review platforms) has become much more complicated. Some information became impossible to obtain on our own, necessitating the use of third-party services. This led to our infrastructure costs increasing tenfold. At the same time, we wanted to continue to:

  1. Provide the affordable prices without increasing them.
  2. Continue to offer a user-friendly service, allowing users to create a widget without additional authorizations - quickly find their profile and retrieve information from it.
  3. Maintain relatively high data retrieval limits.

This contributed to our decision to specify limits. Unfortunately, we can no longer support 1,000 widgets for $5 per month. Regrettably, as agencies, you can no longer sell widgets to your clients at prices below our cost price.

However, I want to highlight that we have not increased the cost for already created widgets, have not removed them, and allow everyone to continue using them - we fulfill all our commitments.

What else?
Besides the above, please also remember the following points:

  1. We’ve made substantial investments in our widget infrastructure, resulting in faster loading times and more stable performance.
  2. We’ve completely reimagined and rebuilt a modern configuration UI for each widget, ensuring you have the best customization experience possible.
  3. Launching the new Dashboard was one of our most ambitious objectives to date, focused on delivering an enhanced user experience and allowing us to expand our features for agencies with virtually no limitations.
  4. In recent years, the number of widgets in our catalog has doubled, yet the price for our Pack plans, which include the full value of all those widgets, has remained unchanged.
  5. Existing widgets receive regular updates, and we try to fulfill the most popular user requests from the Wishlist.
  6. Inflation has not stopped for a second - everything is rising - the salaries of the team (which now includes more than 60 people), infrastructure costs, and all other business expenses have increased manifold over 8 years.

Writing this letter makes it seem like it should be followed by a price increase announcement. However, we currently have no plans to do so - we do not want to change the base prices. We want to develop the necessary functionality and monetize it. We want to provide agencies with a convenient interface and opportunities for working with clients, but we also want to increase the average check and receive a small fee per client - so that both you and we can grow.

I hope I have clarified the introduction of widget limits. Thank you very much for your understanding!

5 Likes

Hi Andrei-san.

I hope you don’t mind if I reply to this address about your agency services that we would like to use in the future.
If you have a specialized contact person, I would be happy to be referred to you.

Thank you.
We first of all thank you for your very courteous reply the other day, it is very much appreciated.
And your statement "We want to provide agencies with a convenient interface and opportunities for working with clients, but we also want to increase the average check and receive a small fee per client - so that both you and we can grow."We also sympathize with you.

Today, we are attaching an image of the email we received from you on February 21 of this year regarding your agency/white label.
We would like you to check it and let us know the next steps we need to take in order to partner with you as your agency in Japan.
Best regards.

Sorry if there are any strange translations in the auto-translation.

Hiroshi Saito
QD,Inc.
Founder/CEO
Tokyo,Kyoto/Japan

2024年4月2日 1:18 +0900、Andrei via Elfsight Community notifications@elfsight.discoursemail.com のメール:

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Hi Hiroshi-san,

Thank you for your letter.

Over the past month, we have been diligently considering how to evolve our agency features and integrate the developing functionalities into our Pricing.

A distribution through the whitelabel model would be of interest to us at prices of at least $1 per widget or $2 per client. However, we are not certain that agencies are ready to pay such prices. And frankly, we don’t understand why. If anyone could explain this to us, please do; we would be keen to listen and consider all opinions.

Therefore, we are increasingly inclined to believe that we should focus on a referral model, where the end customer pays for the widgets, and the agency earns about 30% of their payment.

You can start selling through this model right now by registering here - https://elfsight.com/affiliate-program/.

For this model, we want to develop a separate agency account where an agency can add referrals, monitor their payments, and assist with widget setup. By default, there will be a free plan for testing and demonstrating capabilities to clients, along with all the mentioned options (Team Members, widget sharing, widget ownership transfer, etc.). All of this will be free for the agency.

No final decisions have been made yet; we are in the stage of gathering information, developing hypotheses, and assessing their potential.

Thank you!

1 Like

You just have a set price for the Premium option to add additional users with access to specific widgets.

This would allow us to have the option of adding users within our team/organization to manage a set # of widgets for 1 CLIENT OR MULTIPLE. And it will allow the use of the widgets to be accessed by the client themselves to access data points for their specific companies widgets within the platform.

The key is to allow additional users to access the data base subscription along with segmenting them by company/ widgets.

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Hi @Andrei ,

I’ll start by saying that we really appreciate that you are looking for solutions for us agencies.
But don’t confuse freelancers with agencies,

When you talk about $1 per widget or $2 per customer (per year I imagine and hope) I tell you that I would have no problem accepting that solution if I came to your site today for the first time and found this opportunity.

And it would also be fine if you offered it to me (well in advance of giving me the opportunity to choose) starting from the renewal of my current subscription.

What is not acceptable is that my current subscription, which has no widget limits, was limited long before its natural expiration.

Can we go back to having our contractual conditions until their natural expiration?

Agencies are not freelancers.
An agency offers its client a complete package of services and software.
It is the agency that decides what to use and what the customer or third parties indicated by him must/can access.
The agency is in control. And he decides whether he wants to earn 0% on a service or 3000% on a widget depending on many other conditions that regulate the relationship with the customer.
But the agency doesn’t sell the widget; sells the whole package. And he takes on the burdens.

An affiliate program is acceptable by a freelancer who generally does not have a support infrastructure, employees, and tends not to have too many responsibilities, delegating as much as possible (therefore including direct payment for the widgets) and collecting a commission defined in advance. Minimum expense, maximum return.
But it’s not an agency.

It is not the customer who must access all the widgets, but one or more users (not necessarily the customer because they could also be external partners) must be able to access individual widgets (therefore not the project).

I’m waiting for your response.
Thank you.